Kandinsky: a European Innovator

For the first time since an exhibition commemorating the artist’s 100th birthday in 1966, this new exhibition in the Lenbachhaus presents all of Wassily Kandinsky‘s (1866–1944) prints and graphic art. It is shown in conjunction with a major retrospective of Kandinsky’s painting in the Kunstbau, which includes important works from all of Kandinsky’s creative periods. The exhibition of prints comprises around 230 woodcuts, linocuts, etchings, lithographs and posters by Kandinsky, dating from 1902 to 1942. Kandinsky created the majority of his graphic works in his early years in Munich and Paris, before The Blue Rider movement was founded in 1911. Most of these works were color woodcuts, in which Kandinsky experimented with up to six color states. Two thirds of the exhibition are therefore devoted to woodcuts from this early period, with the rest showing works from the Bauhaus period and the Paris years. For Kandinsky painting and graphic art were equally important. He devoted his energies with the same intensity to all the media he worked in, always aiming to express the “spiritual in art. Almost all the graphic works included in the exhibition are held by the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, since the museum received nearly all Kandinsky’s graphic works as part of a generous donation by Gabriele Münter in 1957. This marvelous collection is unique, spanning Kandinsky’s entire career. The exhibition of Kandinsky prints in the Lenbachhaus thus perfectly complements the major international retrospective of his painting in the Kunstbau.